When planning the budget for an upcoming trip, don’t forget to factor in tipping. From the porter who carries your bags to your room to the taxi driver who brings you back home from the airport, there are plenty of helping hands worthy of appreciation. Although some vacation packages or cruises now have gratuities included, it's far from the norm. Keep these tipping suggestions in mind:
- Have several dollar bills handy in an easy-to-access place. It’s impolite to ask for change from your tip in almost all cases (taxis being the exception).
- Do your research. Tipping customs vary from country to country, and many resorts and hotels have already factored tips into the price of your stay. Check with a guide book for the country or the property’s policies before your trip.
- Tip according to the service your received. The amounts below are good general guidelines but not set rules. Feel free to tip higher for outstanding service, and use your judgment when deciding whether to tip for substandard service.
At the Hotel:
- Porter/Bell staff: $1-$2 a bag
- Room service: 15%-20% of the bill. Check the bill first; the tip is often automatically added. Also make sure the tip is going to the attendant, and if not, consider tipping extra directly.
- Housekeeping: $2-$3 a day. Leave the tip daily, because the staff may change each day, in an envelope marked Housekeeping.
- Concierge: For simple questions, no tip is expected. For larger requests such as arranging for show tickets or dinner reservations, tip $5-$10 or more. Put the tip inside a note of thanks.
On the road:
- Taxis: 15%-20% of the total fare. Tip a few dollars extra if they handle your luggage.
- Shuttle driver: $1-$2 a person
- Valet: An average tip for valet is $2-$5 (on top of the parking charge), or more depending on the service and how upscale the venue is. For complimentary valet, a tip of $5-$10 is usually expected.
- Spa attendant: 18%-20% of the bill
- Tour guide: 10%-15% of the tour price, or $6-$10 for a day tour
- Coat check: $1 per item